Traditional Saunas vs. Infrared Saunas: Which is Better?

Which is Better? Traditional Saunas or Infrared Saunas?

When it comes to unwinding and rejuvenating your body, saunas stand out as a popular choice worldwide. However, the traditional sauna, familiar to many, is now sharing the spotlight with its modern counterpart, the infrared sauna. This blog explores the distinct characteristics of traditional and infrared saunas, alongside the pros and cons of opting for an infrared sauna over its traditional sibling.

Traditional Saunas vs. Infrared Saunas: Which is Better?

What is Meant by a Traditional Sauna?

A traditional sauna, often hailed from Finnish culture, employs a method of heating the space indirectly. This is achieved through a heater that warms the air, which then transfers the heat to your body. The temperatures in a traditional sauna can soar up to 80°C, creating a hot and steamy environment. The heat is intensified by pouring water over heated rocks, producing steam and raising the humidity levels, thus promoting sweating and relaxation.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

Infrared saunas, on the other hand, take a direct approach to heating your body by utilizing infrared heaters. Unlike traditional saunas that elevate the room's temperature to induce sweating, infrared saunas use infrared light waves to warm your body directly. This method allows for a deep, penetrating heat at a much lower ambient temperature, usually between 46°C to 57°C, facilitating a more comfortable environment that still promotes a substantial sweat.

Pros and Cons of an Infrared Sauna Compared to a Traditional Sauna

Pros of Infrared Saunas:

  • Direct Heating: The infrared sauna heats the body directly, allowing for a deep sweat at lower temperatures. This can be more comfortable for individuals who find the high heat of traditional saunas intolerable.
  • Quicker Heat-Up Time: Infrared saunas require approximately 10 to 15 minutes to heat up, significantly less than the 30 to 40 minutes needed for traditional saunas. This makes them convenient for those short on time.
  • Efficient Running Costs: Operating at lower temperatures means infrared saunas consume less energy. On average, the cost to run an infrared sauna three times a week is about £7.50 a month, half the cost of running a traditional sauna.
  • Health Benefits: Though both sauna types offer health benefits like stress reduction and muscle relaxation, infrared saunas have been highlighted for their ability to deliver a deep, detoxifying sweat at a cellular level, aiding in the reduction of muscle pain and improved cardiovascular health.

Why the Solo One Infrared Sauna is Perfect for your Home

The Solo One Infrared Sauna is the perfect choice to enjoy the benefits of a sauna at home. It is the size of a regular corner shower cabin and because it is a dry sauna, you could place it in any room. Not just in your bathroom. It is also:

  • Cheap to run - electricity costs approximately £0.51 per 60-minute session.
  • Easy Assembly - two adults can complete the build in a few hours using basic tools.
  • Easy Installation - requires only 1 normal plug socket.

Solo One Infrared Sauna

Cons of Infrared Saunas:

  • Limited Steam: Those who enjoy the hot, steamy atmosphere of a traditional sauna might find the dry heat of an infrared sauna lacking in comparison.
  • Research and Tradition: Traditional saunas have been around for centuries, with a wealth of anecdotal and scientific evidence supporting their benefits. Infrared saunas, being relatively new, have less historical data to back up their health claims, although emerging research is promising.
  • Personal Preference and Experience: The experience of a traditional sauna, with its rituals of pouring water over hot stones and enduring intense heat, is unique. Some may miss this aspect in the more temperate infrared sauna.


Choosing between a traditional and an infrared sauna ultimately boils down to personal preference and the specific health benefits you seek to gain. While traditional saunas offer a classic experience with steam and higher temperatures, infrared saunas provide comfortable, direct heat with potentially lower running costs and a quick start-up time. Regardless of your choice, both sauna types promise a relaxing experience that supports overall well-being.

FAQ: Understanding Saunas - Traditional vs. Infrared

What is better, infrared or traditional sauna?

The choice between an infrared and a traditional sauna largely depends on personal preference and specific health goals. Infrared saunas are known for their ability to provide deep, penetrating heat at lower temperatures, making them ideal for those who prefer a gentler sauna experience. Traditional saunas, with their higher temperatures and steam, offer a more intense heat session that some find more therapeutic. If you seek deep muscle relaxation and detoxification through sweat, infrared might be the better choice. However, if you appreciate the ritual and the intense heat of a steam sauna, traditional saunas might suit you better.

What type of sauna is healthiest?

Both infrared and traditional saunas offer significant health benefits, including stress reduction, improved circulation, detoxification, and aid in muscle recovery. The healthiest sauna is the one that meets your personal health needs and preferences. Infrared saunas are lauded for their ability to provide a deep sweat and promote detoxification at lower temperatures, which might be more comfortable for people with certain health conditions. Traditional saunas, by promoting intense sweating, can help in removing toxins from the body and improving cardiovascular health. Ultimately, the health benefits of both sauna types can contribute positively to your overall well-being.

What are the benefits of a traditional sauna?

Traditional saunas offer a range of health benefits, including:

  • Detoxification: The high heat and steam encourage profound sweating, helping to flush toxins from the body.
  • Improved Circulation: The heat causes blood vessels to dilate, improving blood flow and aiding in muscle recovery.
  • Stress Reduction: The heat relaxes the body, reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation.
  • Immune System Boost: Regular use can lead to an increase in white blood cell count, enhancing the immune system.
  • Cardiovascular Health: The sauna's heat mimics the effects of mild exercise by increasing heart rate and promoting healthy blood flow, which can improve cardiovascular health over time.

Why are traditional saunas more expensive?

Traditional saunas are typically more expensive due to several factors:

  • Construction and Materials: Traditional saunas often require durable materials capable of withstanding high temperatures and humidity, including quality woods and insulation.
  • Heating System: They may use more complex heating systems, including stoves that need to heat a larger volume of air and stones, which can add to the cost.
  • Installation: The installation of a traditional sauna can be more involved, requiring proper ventilation, insulation, and sometimes plumbing for steam, increasing labor and material costs.
  • Size and Design: Traditional saunas are often larger and may include additional features like benches and steam options, contributing to higher manufacturing and shipping costs.

In conclusion, whether you choose an infrared or traditional sauna depends on your personal health goals, preferences, and how you like to experience heat. Both offer significant health benefits that can enhance your lifestyle.

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